On May 23, 2022, the Director General of the French Patent Office issued the first decision on an opposition to a patent. This procedure was created by the PACTE law of May 22, 2019 and allows a third party to request the total or partial revocation of a granted French patent, based on a number of grounds listed in article L.613-23-1 of the French Code of Intellectual Property (CPI).
The opposition filed by Krones AG against a patent entitled “Process for forming a container made of thermoplastic material by biaxial stretching” owned by Sidel Participations is recognized as justified and the patent is maintained in a modified form.
In this decision, the French Patent Office considers that the ground of opposition according to which the claims n° 1 and 8, as well as the dependent claims n° 2 to 7, 9 and 10, lack novelty is thus not founded.
With regard to the inventive step, the person skilled in the art is defined by the Office. Upon examination of the documents filed by the opponent against the patent application, the Office admits the inventive step with respect to part of the claims but recognizes the validity of the opposition with respect to another part of the claims.
The applicant has the possibility to modify the set of claims of the patent during the opposition procedure subject to compliance with article L.613-23-3 of the Intellectual Property Code.
The patent is therefore maintained in an amended form.
Other decisions will soon refine the practice of the French Patent Office regarding patent opposition and we will keep you informed of any significant developments. In the meantime, it may be appropriate to set up a technological or competitive watch based on your patents. Do not hesitate to contact us on this subject, which falls within our areas of expertise.